Are safety warnings ignored on the job? Is there frequently a surplus of wasted materials? Cost overruns? What about damaged equipment? Training opportunities not benefiting the workplace? Are any of these familiar in your workplace? These could be signs that employees have difficulty with reading and writing.
In today’s technologically advanced workplace with its increasing need for reading and writing skills, lack of these basic skills affects not only the employees, but also their supervisors and co-workers. Employers are affected because employees may not be able to read safety warnings, resulting in work-related accidents. They may not be able to write reports which may affect the profit of the organisation. Another hidden cost of low literacy is the high turnover/absenteeism because employees may be too embarrassed to admit to this shortcoming. Consequently, co-workers are constantly training replacements or accepting additional responsibilities to meet quotas/deadlines.
The ALTA Workplace Literacy Programme improves the reading and writing skills of employees to meet the demands of the workplace, using either the standard ALTA Programme or a customized version to suit the particular situation. The steps through which ALTA recommends suitable programmes of instruction for the workplace are as follows:
Instruction is offered at three levels: Beginner, Level 1 and Level 2. Successful completion of any of these levels requires about 150 hours of instruction. For progress to be evident, a literacy programme requires an initial commitment of at least two 2-hour sessions per week over three months. Students who successfully complete an entire literacy level receive a certificate from ALTA.
Effective learner outcomes are greatly influenced by a small teacher/participant ratio, so it is recommended that there should be one teacher for every 8-10 students, depending on the literacy level of the students. If there is more than one literacy level in a class of 10 or more students, two tutors are required.
Within the workplace, it is possible to complete a literacy level, covering three books, in periods ranging from 13 to 26 weeks.
OPTION 1: 26-WEEK COURSE
(3 days per week / 2 hours per day or 2 days per week / 3 hours per day)
OPTION 2: 20-WEEK COURSE
(4 days per week / 2 hours per day)
OPTION 3: 18-WEEK COURSE
(3 days per week / 3 hours per day)
OPTION 4: 13-WEEK COURSE
(4 days per week / 3 hours per day)
ALTA has completed successful literacy programmes at the following workplaces in Trinidad: